2016 — 12 January: Tuesday

Today's adventure? Well, the weather currently (08:45) looks set fine for a walk. And then I have to fix Mrs Hubbard's cupboard, which is developing another annoying echo.1

Smoke and mirrors?

Surely not?

Since he'd become prime minister, he declared, putting on his best caring face, he'd noticed there were rather more poor people in the country than he had been led to believe.
And Dave wanted to do something about it. Oh yes! Dave was going to give people more hope in life by cutting welfare and bulldozing a few council estates. All that stood between the poor people and a £450,000 affordable home was some sound financial advice. Let them eat mortgage brokers. Most worrying for the rest of us, is that Dave actually believes all this. He is delusional rather than cynical, the smoke and mirrors having penetrated the very depths of his hippocampus.

John Crace in Grauniad

And people still want his "job". Amazing. [Pause] Speaking (as it were) of hippos:

It's a pity that [Northrop] Frye isn't around to classify A Song of Ice and Fire. He might have termed it a quest-romance where subtlety and complexity are sacrificed in favor of stark dialectical contrasts suggestive of folklore and allegory. Nor would it have bothered him that George R. R. Martin writes like a hippopotamus and that millions of readers love his books for precisely that reason.

Stephen Akey in Smart Set

I have admitted defeat in the face of that turgid mountain of prose, but will (I suspect) continue to enjoy the TV version.

Having been quizzed...

... on today's walk about my discovery, yesterday, of Samsung's "Nano Crystal" technology, here's a link to (as it were) the horse's mouth. I also realise I gave the wrong price yesterday. The 78" screen was very nearly double what I'd said. That doesn't stop it being tempting. But the size of my room does!

Compare and contrast...

... these two descriptions of the two versions of "Battlestar Galactica":

1978 version: Perhaps the least likeable of all tv sf in its ineptness, its cynicism, its sentimentality and its contempt for and ignorance of science...

2003 version: One of the two most important and influential genre television series of the last decade...

Date: today

Guess who's just rediscovered the ever-growing SF Encyclopedia? So far, I've bought the first and second printed editions, and the CD-ROM variant, though I no longer have any form of Windows system on which to load it.

There are some...

... grotesque jobs in our modern world. Somewhere in the Antipodes, for example, is a team wasting their lives applying little stickers to deface the cover artwork of Blu-rays before shipping them halfway round the planet:

Comet Blu-ray

Bizarre, or what?

The loan of...

... the book "Alex's Adventures in Numberland" (by Alex Bellos) has just enabled me to correct a hypertext link on one of my "Quotes" pages. Bellos tells the story of Margherita (my fourth in a small set!) P Beloch who, in her 1936 paper, proved that starting with a length L on a piece of paper, she could fold a length that was the cube root of L. Thus it was that origami eventually led to the trisection of an angle. But pity poor Pierre Laurent Wantzel — the author of the first published proof of trisection's impossibility (using only straight edge and compass) in 1837.



1  I would rate self-filling food cupboards far higher up the priority list than self-driving cars.